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Duffy Takes New Role in CongressSubmitted: 03/26/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Duffy Takes New Role in Congress
WASHINGTON - Northwoods Republican Congressman Sean Duffy thinks his rural background is perfect for his latest role in Congress.

Duffy will be the new Vice-Chairman of a subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.

That's contained under the House Financial Services Committee.

"Being born and raised in rural America, I understand how important our small community credit unions are. They're the lifeblood of economic growth within our community," Duffy says.

Duffy's subcommittee will take a more relevant role after the 2008 financial collapse and the Dodd-Frank legislation that followed it.

"Our small community banks were not the cause of the financial crisis. But often times, they bear the brunt of the new rules and regulations that have come out. The cost of compliance, the cost of these regulations are far higher for them. So that's a focus for me," he says.

Within the Financial Services Committee, Duffy also serves on the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity.

Milwaukee Democrat Gwen Moore is the only other Wisconsinite on Financial Services.

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RHINELANDER - These days, it can feel like physical stores get overshadowed by online shopping. But that's not completely true in Rhinelander.

A new women's clothing boutique opened today in downtown Rhinelander.

Oak Tree Boutique owner and Rhinelander native Amber Bellile remembers a time from her childhood when downtown flourished.

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WAUSAU - Police arrested a Tomahawk man and Wausau woman Thursday for going on the run with 290 pounds of marijuana, three guns, and two stun guns.

The Marathon County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol helped arrest 32-year-old Joel Helding near Osseo in western Wisconsin.

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WOODRUFF - A Northwoods fire department used some of its money gained through fundraising to help other first responders stay safe.

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PRICE COUNTY - For the first time in more than three decades the Price County Circuit Court welcomed a new judge to take the bench Friday.
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WOODRUFF - Six people died in snowmobile accidents since January 5 in Wisconsin. 

Last year, 16 people died while snowmobiling during the whole season. 

DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says at this rate, Wisconsin is on track to match that. 

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EAGLE RIVER - The World Championship Snowmobile Derby kicked off in Eagle River Friday morning. 

You might think of snowmobile racing as a sport for adults, but people of all ages are competing. Kids as young as four years old came out Friday to ride their tiny sleds through the finish line. 

On Sunday, all eyes will be on the riders lining up for the world snowmobile championship race. But before those riders came into the spotlight they started as kids. 

"My first race was when I was five," said Maverick Woyke. 

At just 12 years old, Woyke has been racing for seven years. 

"We went and watched a race and he had so much fun watching he decided he wanted to start racing," said Maverick's dad Jesse Woyke. 

Maverick traveled to with his dad from Buffalo, Minnesota to race this weekend in Eagle River. He's no stranger to traveling for the sport. 

"We've been Jackson, Wyoming, Winter Park, Colorado, Deadwood, Duluth, Shakopee in Minnesota, we kind of go all over," said Jesse. 

Maverick isn't the only veteran in the field, many of the young riders have been riding almost as soon as they could walk. 

"I've done this race as long as I can remember. Probably since I was four or five," said 11-year-old Tyler Poker. 

It's a tradition to come to Eagle River at this time of year, and for a lot of these kids, it's a family tradition.

"We were eating dinner and Dad asked me if I wanted to come race, and I said yeah, and then this happened," said 11-year-old Reece Bollmann. 

They travel from all over Wisconsin and the Midwest to have fun, but also to compete. 

"I've been to this race four times now and I've won it the last three times so I'm hoping for a fourth," said 14-year-old Kyle Thome. 

It's a unique sport, and it brings something different than football or baseball. 

"[My favorite part about racing is] the jumps because it's so much air and it's just a blast," said Bollmann.
 
But of course the best part?

"Well, getting off of school," said Poker. 

Many of the kids will spend the weekend watching other riders after they finish their races. And the ultimate goal is to be right there on that Sunday championship starting lineā€¦one day. 
 
"If we could get there that'd be awesome," said Thome. 

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